Losing weight isn’t just healthy: It can save you money

Dec. 26, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by Avera.

There’s nothing like a new year to make good on goals for health, well-being and the big one for many – losing weight.

Professionals often encourage those losing weight to “find the why” behind their efforts. Feeling and looking better, along with more energy and alertness, are good answers.

But saving money is another good answer.

“Obesity connects directly to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer,” said Amanda Harty, director of well-being services with Avera Health Plans. “The CDC estimates that 75 percent of health care spending goes into treatment of these conditions, including obesity, yet only 3 percent is spent on prevention.”

If you apply this math to the individual or family level, you see that the financial facts in answering your “why lose weight?” question are important over the long run.

“For some, it is remembering how being overweight affected their parent or grandparent. People don’t want to be a burden to their kids,” Harty said. “Or it could be the desire to have more years with grandkids. As health coaches, we try to help people find what will intrinsically drive them to their goals.”

Over the past year, Harty and her colleagues have implemented an integrated well-being experience for Avera and other members of Avera Health Plans. The LiveNOW program focuses on well-being, not just weight loss.

“In our approach, we’re seeing people who face more than weight issues. It could be stress-related habits,” Harty said. “We look at all aspects of well-being, beyond traditional physical wellness, to things like grief, compassion fatigue – each participant faces different hurdles, but taking the first step can be hard for anyone.”

Knowing your numbers, moderating diet, getting quality sleep and setting small goals can all be good first steps.

“If you want to lose 100 pounds overall, just start by aiming to lose 5 percent of your current weight,” she said. “Achieving goals and using success can keep you motivated toward bigger accomplishments.”

A doctor’s appointment and conversation about how you can achieve better health in 2019 is a good place to start. Since the motivation behind losing weight is personal, Avera has several programs that can fit a busy professional’s needs for extra motivation.

Ideal Living

Avera Medical Group Integrative Medicine offers a medically supervised nutrition program that includes consultations with certified health coaches, personalized plans, recipes and Ideal Protein products. Those who take part eat higher-protein meals, cut calories and carbs, and see weight loss faster through this diet. Call 605-322-3241 to delve deeper into this method.

Balanced Weight Loss 

The Avera Heart Hospital’s Balanced Weight Loss program lasts one year and includes 13 one-on-one visits with a registered dietitian who helps you transition to healthy eating habits with recipes, accountability and a more nutritious diet. It can help stave off chronic health conditions. Call 605-977-7340 to learn more.

Next Steps

This activity-and-goal-setting program at Avera McKennan Fitness Center includes group workout sessions, a try-it-first membership to the center’s equipment and services, and individually tailored exercise plans and assessments. Call 605-322-5300 for information.

Nonsurgical weight-loss procedures

People who want to lose 30 to 50 pounds and who have not had success may consider endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty or intragastric balloon solutions through Avera. Without surgery, these methods create smaller stomachs, are completed in a single day and offer quick recovery, along with rapid initial weight loss. Call 605-322-1320 to learn more.

Surgical weight-loss options

As the most intensive alternative, surgical options for losing weight best fit those who face chronic conditions or who want to lose more than 50 pounds. Minimally invasive surgeries such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or Lap-Band can help. Call 605-322-1320 for information.

Team approach

When people combine the expertise Avera offers in bariatric methods, nutrition and integrative medicine, your goals are easier to reach because you’ll have medical supervision along with a tailored-for-you routine to reach your objective.

Information about comprehensive guidance with compassionate care is available by clicking here.


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Losing weight isn’t just healthy: It can save you money

Is losing weight one of your goals for 2019? We were surprised how many options Avera now has to get you there!

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